OPINION

Crucial meetings ahead at the ΝΑΤΟ Summit 

crucial-meetings-ahead-at-the-nato-summit

The upcoming meeting of NATO leaders scheduled to take place on June 14 in Brussels is of particular importance to Greece right now.

To begin with, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is slated to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit. Their discussions are expected to shed light on Ankara’s intentions over the course of the next few months. It may allow Athens to determine whether Turkey will opt for the path of calm and we will have some smooth sailing this summer, or whether the incendiary rhetoric will continue, along with possible tension in the Aegean – even though this is in no one’s best interest.

Secondly, the Turkish strongman will also be meeting for the first time with US President Joe Biden, who has a much different approach to foreign relations than his predecessor and demands that certain values and codes of behavior are respected – in both cases Turkey is not passing muster right now.

The meeting will also be addressing a string of issues that are of direct or indirect interest to the United States, and these include Turkey’s relationship with Greece and the question of Cyprus.

It is also likely that there will be a meeting – albeit a brief one – between Biden and Mitsotakis, a development that would be indisputably important at a time when – beyond the role of the Greek diaspora, which is more complementary with the current president in Washington – the strategic relationship between Greece and the United States is being deepened, especially on the defense front.

Last but not least, the summit will serve the important role of bringing the American president and the leaders of Europe together, hopefully signaling a relaunch of closer ties. This will also be very important for Greece, as it counts on the support of the two main pillars of the global system, as an equal member of the European Union and a country with strong ties to the US.